Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lashing Out

I love Matt Taibbi.

Then there's this whole business of liberals who are accused of "rooting" for failure in Iraq. I'm sorry, but the next pundit who whips that one out should have his balls stuffed down his throat. You cocksuckers beat the drum to send these kids to war, and then you turn around and accuse us of rooting for them to die? Fuck you for even thinking that. We're Americans just like you. You don't have the right to get us into this mess and then turn around and call us traitors. Your credibility is long gone on this issue. Shut up about us.

Beyond that, what you say doesn't even make any sense. For most of us, if we thought there was any chance this thing could work, we'd have been for it, or at least not so violently against it. Instead, our opposition to the war was based on our absolute conviction that it would end in disaster -- which it incidentally has. But according to Klein, if we see a guy step off the top of the Empire State Building, we're supposed to root for him to nail the dismount. The whole issue is irrelevant and absurd. This is a catastrophe, not a baseball game. "Rooting" is a kid's word; grow the fuck up.

But that's not exactly what the article is about.
I think they're all full of shit -- Klein, McCain, Kerry, all of them. But especially Klein. He is the living, breathing incarnation of American "conventional wisdom" -- and what American "conventional wisdom" is is a spineless, slavish, power-worshipping watcher of polls who has no problem whatsoever denying today what he said yesterday, and is mostly interested in making sure he still has invitations to the right Beltway parties.

The war, you might have noticed, has not budged very many of these people from their places. Many of them now claim to be against the war. But they're the same people they were three or four years ago, and they're still quite openly sneering at the people who really were right all along. They seem to hate us even more, now that we've so obviously been proven right.

Which tells us: if they're going to end this Iraq thing, they're going to try to do it without admitting either that they were wrong or we were right. And we'll take that, I guess -- but Jesus, is it infuriating.

Here's some more from Taibbi (from a different piece). I love him because he is so astute in putting his finger on exactly how a given political stance is bullshit. Check him ripping the dems (my emphasis):
The Democrats, God bless them, came out with yet another calculated media attack last week, following up Hillary Clinton's August ambush of Don Rumsfeld with the calling for the defense secretary's resignation. From almost the moment that Rumsfeld gave a speech early last week comparing Bush's Iraq war critics to pre-WWII Nazi "appeasers," the Democrats started whaling away at him, filling the front pages of big dailies across the country with "Top Dems Blast Rumsfeld" headlines.

Almost the whole roster of prominent Democrats was in on the effort, with everyone from John Edwards to Chuck Schumer to Nancy Pelosi to Ike Skelton to Jack Reed seemingly reading from the same gloatingly self-righteous "Rumsfeld is a real dick" script. It was one of those groan-out-loud coordinated media-sandbag jobs, now standard procedure in American politics, where the various politicians separately make exactly the same pre-prepared "jokes" in their respective "extemporaneous" public remarks, delivering their message with all the wit and spontaneity of a Speak N' Spell:

Pelosi on Rumsfeld: "If Mr. Rumsfeld is so concerned with comparisons to World War II, he should explain why our troops have now been fighting in Iraq longer than it took our forces to defeat the Nazis in Europe."

Biden: "The most significant comparison with World War II is that we soon will have been in Iraq as long as World War II, with much less success."

Yuk, yuk. In any case, this anti-Rumsfeld broadside is a classic political canard, a perfect expression of everything the modern Democratic Party stands for. Politically, it makes perfect sense, as Rumsfeld is much less popular even than Bush; this is a figure whose approval ratings were down in the thirties two years ago, back when Bush was still capable of winning a national election.

The attack will work, because so many voters out there will see in it a reflection of their own animosity towards the hoary defense secretary, not thinking about the real underlying meaning of the Democrats' campaign. Because what Rumsfeld actually represents to the Democrats is a means of attacking the Republicans on the Iraq issue without having to explain their own vote in support of the invasion.

Essentially the Democrats will call Rumsfeld a bunch of names for the sound bite, and then, in the fine print, state their real "objections" to Rumsfeld's record, which will amount to something like the fact that he invaded Iraq on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday, used too few troops to needlessly destroy Iraq's national infrastructure, failed to distribute free milk and cookies to the Mahdi army, etc. A typical comment will be one like Chuck Schumer's of last week: "There are growing doubts about how competently he's conducted the war." (How do you competently invade the wrong country?) And so the Democrats once again will make an effort to sound antiwar out of one side of their mouths, and pro-war out the other side; they will then close their eyes and hope that they pick up sixteen seats before anyone notices. If that ain't leadership, what is?

And of course, a righteous repudiation of the media, wrapped in a story that's so much more.

One more. An all-opinion piece.